Thursday, 18 June 2009

Part 31 - Radiation Revelry

I’m coming under increasingly furious pressure to update here now that radiotherapy’s finished, despite the fact that I insist that this blog would be far more effective if it came to a sudden and unexplained end. It worked for Anne Frank, she got a bloody book deal and a film made about her. The lucky cow.

Radiotherapy was a bit of a non-event after the cataclysmic consequences of chemotherapy, hence the lack of updates. Whilst chemotherapy rendered me a hideous and reclusive infection fiend for half a year, radiotherapy has just given me a hot neck and a silly voice. For the past week or so, I’ve sounded a bit like what Rod Stewart would sound like if he spent an afternoon shovelling hot gravel in to his face. I also have a perfectly square patch of luminous red skin covering exactly half of my neck which people kindly keep pointing out to me, just in case I‘m not sufficiently reminded by being in constant, searing agony. It burns with the intensity of one million suns.

I don’t fully understand what makes this happen. The actual administration of the treatment is entirely painless and discreet, just like an X-ray. In fact, if it wasn’t for the fact that my head was physically bolted to a gigantic machine in a cancer ward I wouldn’t know anything was happening at all. The most painful thing about the process was, without a doubt, trying to think of something different to say to the nurses every bloody day for three weeks. There are few more depressing stages of maturation than the first time you hear yourself talking about parking.

It took roughly three minutes each time, which I know for certain because I once had to endure the entire length of I Got You Babe by Sonny and Cher whilst being shot at by the death ray. These three minutes included me taking my top off each day, feeling ashamed of my skeletal torso, and being incarcerated inside my mask whilst a machine whirred around my head gradually setting my skin alight with invisible fire. It was so brief and boring that I have literally no hilarious stories from it. Each day I was willing someone to do something that would justify me decimating them with my acidic words, the bloody professional bastards.

The three weeks came and went quicker than I had feared and, if everything goes to plan, that should be the end of my cancer adventure. I won’t know for certain until I get a scan in September, three entire months away, which is either quite reassuring or absolutely outrageous negligence. It’s not quite the ‘you’re healthy, now sod off out of hospital’ that I had envisaged but apparently this is quite common. A nurse referred to it as the ‘cancer limbo’, which I thought sounded more like an event at the Special Olympics than a medical phenomenon.

In the meantime, I’ve just got to go about life as normal but my various trips out and about recently have already demonstrated that this isn’t the easiest thing to do. I’ve had to evade questions about my past year to the extent that I must sound like I’ve been caught up in a child molestation case. Not because I’m particularly ashamed of my feeble health, I just don’t think discussing it is the best way to go about being considered a hip, bohemian youth like I so desperately attempt to appear as. “What did you do to your neck?” asked a girl in a Glasgow nightclub, pointing to my scar. “Got in a fight” I protested, as she surveyed my snowmanesque arms in bafflement.

It’s also left me with absolutely nothing to write about. This has been an empire built on sand if ever there bloody was one. In thirty years time I’ll be cleaning the toilets of some local newspaper, lecturing anyone in earshot about the time that I wrote a massive feature for The Independent sounding like a deranged fantasist.

I’m going to leave this site as it is, as long as I don’t suffer a crushing relapse at some point, in the arrogant assumption that someone might want to read it one day without having to sift through years of me writing about being sick on myself in nightclubs. I’ve just set up a new blog at jamieross7.blogspot.com if you want to follow my humiliating attempts to clutch on to the coat-tails of my past glory, I’ll get round to writing in it at some point.

Anyway, thank you for reading. Unless you reached this through the article in The Sun, in which case you have brought shame upon me.

Eleven months, twelve doses of chemotherapy, fifteen doses of radiotherapy and thirty-one blogs. That was a bloody laugh, wasn’t it?

48 comments:

Alright Tit said...

Jamie Ross, I salute you.
L.x

Leslie said...

So true. As for those who ask - tell them you had a sword swallowing accident. Or made av mistake practising firebreathing.

I always preferred telling them I was hurt in a duel.

Best of luck.

Iain said...

Hi, Jamie -
Glad there'll be no more of this. All the best to you.

phaeton said...

Oh for goodness sake. Stop being miserable about not having anything to get on your soap box about and get on becoming one of those infuriatingly young writers for the Graun and Times instead. You've proven you're far too talented a writer already, it's not going to go away because - thank the dear lord for once - you're healthy.

And on that note, several enormous cheers for that.

Michael said...

This is the point where there's usually either a big song and dance number or a montage of 'best bits' to something by The Killers or Sugababes. I expect similar.

And having 'nothing to write about' doesn't stop me, or the majority of everyone else in the (ahem) blogosphere.

You owe it to us. We demand it. Blog it and we will come.

DanProject76 said...

Nice ending.

Glad it turned out good!

jamieross said...

It's very well suggesting I should go and work for The Times but I think I'm currently on Rupert Murdoch's blacklist.

Although if anyone at The Guardian wants to give me a job, I'd probably consider it.

Pardlerum said...

Surely you're not just allowed to *stop*. Aren't there contracts and obligations that must be met in light of the unfeasably large cash advance you got from the publisher to fake all this before your untimely death at the hands of a mildly cantancerous stage comedian?

Oh well. So be it. I'd better find someone else to stalk.

Cheers mate.

Ron said...

Dear Friends,
I wanted to share a heart-felt video called “Stand Up To Cancer”— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9avVoQB2_rQ> . This video highlights the importance of managing your cancer treatment and avoiding infection. Please watch and share with all your loved ones.

Best of wishes,

Ron Z

annie said...

廢話不多,祝你順心~^^........................................

馬甲 said...

take care yourself!! ^^ ........................................

LazySusan said...

Congratulations! I'm a breast cancer survivor and your blog has always been a help for me. My worst side effect from chemo was heat, cold sweats, and insomnia. I work for ChiliTechnology so I started using one of these and it was a great help to me: ChiliPad (it's a mattress pad that lets you cool the bed down to any temperature you set - it has a range from 46 to 118 degrees). I also went on an all organic macrobiotic diet, which really helped with detoxing from the chemo (and I've never gone off the diet, because I feel better eating this way than I did before cancer). The other thing I did that was really important to my healing was watch tons of stand-up comedy. I really believe laughter is the best medicine.

佩璇佩璇 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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dr.gregory b. harris said...

jaime-have any of your doctors ever taught you how to fight cancer with food? no chemo, rad, or other drugs are needed. please consider contacting me. i teach my patients how to prevent/reverse cancer and other chronic diseases and think i can be of benefit to you and your family. 775 223 8260 dr.gbh

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